If you haven’t heard already, harvest, which marks the start of autumn for us, is the best time of year to visit our Wine Estate. Upon entering the drive, you’ll see the Vineyard looking in fine form. From mid-October, our incredible Vineyard crew and picking team from the local community assemble to pick the grapes from our 385,000 vines, whilst the Winery team prepare to work their Sussex Sparkling magic. We believe Harvest is just as much about the people as it is the grapes, so we’ve compiled a guide to experience a taste of Rathfinny whether you’re near or far away.

Vines and fog

VINTAGE WILL BE THE HIGHLIGHT OF 2020

If you ever visit our Vineyard, we promise we won’t disappoint when it comes to incredible views and beautiful vines. Our Vineyard Technician, Stan has been closely monitoring the acidity and sugar levels of the grapes, patiently planning the perfect moment to begin harvesting. Whilst yields may be slightly smaller this year, he has high expectations of exceptional quality.

Follow our Vineyard through the seasons with pictures captured by our resident photographer, Viv Blakey. From pruning through to bud burst, flowering and ripening, these stunning images offer a unique insight into the important maintenance work that takes place all year round to ensure a bountiful Harvest.

View the gallery.

Our Rathfinny walking trail is closed during Harvest for health and safety reasons, but is otherwise open all other times of the year.

Dining in a marquee

FLINT BARNS COURTYARD RESTAURANT

We always say our sparkling wines are best enjoyed with food, so what better way to experience a taste of Sussex than in the heart of our Vineyard, with food prepared by our Estate Head Chef, Chris Bailey?

Celebrate the spirit of harvest with a menu that speaks to our sense of place and the amazing, seasonal produce all around us, sourced from the land to the sea. Join us in front of the fire for lemon sole cooked over last year’s vines, wood roasted local game with pinot noir grapes, crab rarebit and other seasonal dishes. Inspired by the Sussex region and the Vineyard, Chris and his team will be cooking over coals and last year’s vines which create an amazing aroma whilst you sit in the safe setting of our enclosed marquee – perfect for the unpredictable autumn weather.

COVID-secure guidelines will be in place for groups up to 6 people. We will continue to monitor and adapt to government guidelines.

Please note, as all of our ingredients are freshly sourced from local suppliers on a daily basis, the menu may be subject to availability.

Lamb Belly Fritters
Lamb belly fritters with wild garlic aioli, paired with our signature Sussex Sparkling 2016 Blanc de Noirs.
Fosse Meadow Chicken
Fosse Meadow Farm chicken with leek and mushrooms, paired with our new 2016 Classic Cuvée.
Pain d'epice
Quince fool with blackberries and pain d’epice.
Summer Celebration Case

ROSÉ ISN’T JUST FOR SUMMER…

It’s so true! Expressive and “Ravishing” (Susie Atkins, The Telegraph), our versatile Sparkling Rosé Brut lends itself to a multitude of dishes and occasions all year round and is perfectly summed up by wine writer, Mathew Jukes:

“This is a foody number and it is brave enough and opinionated enough to launch itself at whatever dish you fancy and I venture it will come up smiling, too, such is the character and persistence of this strident rosé.” Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com

The Rathfinny Summer Celebration Case was particularly popular this summer, offering a curated mix of our 2017 Rosé Brut alongside our 2016 Classic Cuvée, both released in May 2020. Whether you’re looking for an exceptional gift, saving a few bottles for a special occasion or simply want to treat yourself, enjoy free delivery on the Summer Celebration Case whilst stocks last.

You can now shop our complete wine portfolio on our online shop and enjoy free delivery on Sussex Sparkling cases!

Flint Barns

HARVEST MID-WEEK ESCAPE PACKAGE

Does the idea of harvesting appeal to you, but not so much the rainy weeks and strenuous work? Perhaps you’d rather wake up to views of our Sussex Vineyard in the heart of the South Downs and wine, dine, tour and taste the wines instead? In that case, you’ll love our Harvest mid-week escape package.

Relax and unwind in our safe, beautifully restored Flint Barns bed and breakfast accommodation and indulge in a three-course dinner from the Flint Barns Harvest Courtyard menu. To experience the most important time of the year at Rathfinny, this special package also includes an exclusive tour, tasting and grape picking experience so you can say you’ve played a part in our 2020 Harvest. Every grape counts!

Browse room availability on our website or call to book (0 1323 874 030). This package ends on 5th November.

“Our main intention is to be able to continue to provide a truly memorable Rathfinny experience as we have always striven to deliver, whilst ensuring our guests and staff are kept safe.”

Sarah Driver, Rathfinny Co-Owner

Sussex Sparkling at Ham Yard Hotel

ENJOY A GLASS OF SUSSEX THIS AUTUMN

As a family-run business with precious relationships in the hospitality industry, it was hard to see the closure of so many restaurants, bars and hotels as a result of COVID. As the hospitality industry gets back on its feet, we wish them all safe and well. If you’re planning on dining out, use our online tool to discover all the venues that stock Rathfinny Sussex Sparkling, from London to Hong Kong. We look forward to meeting again over a glass of Sussex Sparkling!

If you’re based near Sussex, you can now find us on the Sparkling Wine list at The Beacon, enjoy a Seven Sisters Gin at The Cocktail bar at The Grand in Eastbourne or wine and dine in Brighton at restaurants such as Etch and The Ginger Dog.

Cradle Valley Pinot Noir

ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS

The customary office party may not be possible this year due to COVID restrictions, but virtual celebrations are the perfect alternative. Our team can offer a bespoke online wine tasting event for you and your work colleagues or friends, complete with food pairing suggestions and wines from across our portfolio. Led by one of our experienced and engaging Brand Ambassadors, you can discover the story of Rathfinny and how we make world-class sparkling wines, in safe comfort.

Feel free to get in touch with our events team (events@rathfinnyestate.com) who will help curate your virtual event.

Alternatively, we can help arrange wine, such as our wonderful magnums, as gifts for colleagues this Christmas instead of an office Christmas party.